A new report published this week has found that 25 corporations that have declared support for the LGBTQ community during Pride Month have also contributed more than $10 million to anti-LGBTQ politicians over the last two years.
On Monday, an investigation published by the Popular Information newsletter found that some major corporations — including Verizon, Walmart, AT&T, and CVS Health — have been big financial supporters of anti-LGBTQ legislators at the federal and state level since 2019.
Despite publicly supporting the LGBTQ community — by changing their social media avatars to include rainbow colors; signing statements opposing anti-transgender legislation; or even creating “a virtual ‘Pride World’ [to] feature events, Pride floats, Pride flags, and even a pronoun guide for employees,” some corporations have also supported a number of candidates who oppose equal rights for LGBTQ individuals.
AT&T, for example, joined more than 130 business earlier this year in a letter opposing an alarming number of anti-transgender bills introduced in state legislatures.
However, the telecommunications giant has also supported sponsors of anti-trans legislation in Arkansas ($12,950), Tennessee ($4,000), North Carolina ($5,000), Texas ($22,500), and Florida ($17,500), according to the article co-written by Tesnim Zekeria and ThinkProgress founder Judd Legum.
CVS Health, whose Twitter avatar has changed to a rainbow-filled heart to celebrate Pride Month, tweeted earlier this year that it was “proud to join more than 100 companies that have signed [the Human Rights Campaign’s] Business Statement Opposing Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation.”
But according to the report the company has also supported the sponsors of anti-trans legislation in three states — Texas, North Carolina, and Tennessee — including highly controversial bills that would ban potentially life-saving gender-affirming medical care to adults and children.
This year, Walmart has a Pride-dedicated section on its website — featuring a same-sex couple with their daughter, and a message that reads, “We welcome everyone to be their authentic selves.”
But the retailer has donated at least $442,000 to 121 politicians who received a zero score in the latest Human Rights Campaign Congressional Scorecard, according to campaign finance reports.
Almost all of these corporations have a 100% in the 2021 HRC Corporate Equality Index, an annual list that measures workplace policies, practices and benefits of LGBTQ people.
The index rates businesses on their nondiscrimination policies; equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families; their support of an inclusive culture; as well as corporate social responsibility. However, it doesn’t take political donations into account.
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